LearningSource Online Help/Knowledge Base/General

Import contacts

John Mitchell
posted this on August 22, 2010 14:37

LearningSource allows you to import contacts from a spreadsheet using the contact importer tool.  The tool allows you to create new contacts and update existing records.  It can be used for a one-off import or as part of a routine process to keep contact records synchronised with another system, e.g. HR, CRM, or member database.  

The following information describes the functionality available within the contact importer tool.

To access the importer;

  • Select Contacts from the main menu.
  • Click Tools (next to the New Presenter button).
  • Select Import contacts from the drop down menu.

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Hint 1: Read our Tips and tricks for importing data.
Hint 2: 
Update existing contacts' and presenters' information using this tool.

Key Points

The importer;

  • Supports importing all fields/columns listed below.
  • Requires only the FirstNameLastName, EmailAddress, and Status columns to be included in the import file.  All other supported fields/columns can be added or omitted as required. Note: The contact importer does not support custom fields, only the fields which are included on the template
  • Matches and updates existing contacts' details.
  • The order of columns/fields within your spreadsheet (CSV file) does not matter.
  • Column headings are not case sensitive.
  • Supports linking contacts with existing organisations or creates new organisations if they do not already exist.
  • Supports the ability to add a presenter role to a contact and set up/update presenters' information.
  • The import file must be a CSV (comma delimited) file type.  Use the Save as. feature in Microsoft Excel to save the import file in the correct file type format.

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Required columns

At a minimum, the following columns must be included within your import file: FirstNameLastNameEmailAddress, and Status.

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Updating existing contacts

The importer is designed to allow you to update the details of existing contacts.  LearningSource will attempt to match a contact being imported with an existing contact when

  • the IDKey is the same, or
  • the ContactCode is the same, or
  • the FirstNameLastName, and EmailAddress are the same

The system will first attempt to match on IDKey, then ContactCode, and then Firstname, Lastname, and EmailAddress.  If the system matches on IDKey first then all other information, including a contact's ContactCode, FirstName, LastName, and EmailAddress will be updated.  If the system matches on ContactCode, then all other information will be updated. If the system matches on Firstname, LastName, and EmailAddress (and has not matched on either ContactCode or IDkey), then all other information (including the ContactCode) will be updated. The IDkey will never be updated as this is a system generated value.

Selecting the update option

Tick Update existing contact's information to activate this option. 

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If you choose to update existing information where a match is found, the following rules apply;

  • If the existing contact contains data in a field, and the same field being imported is has no value (is blank), then the data in the existing field will be deleted.
  • If the existing contact contains data in a field, and the same field being imported also contains data, then the data in the existing field will be updated with the data being imported.
  • If the existing contact contains data in a field, but the field is not included in the file being imported, then the existing data will remain unchanged. 

If you do not choose to update existing information, then where a match is found the details for the existing contact will not be updated.

Communication options 

You are able to choose to send an account activation email to new contacts created as part of the import.  To send activation emails, tick the Send account activation emails option.  An account activation email will not be sent if the contact already exists in LearningSource.  

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Columns and rules

The following table provides a list of columns that can be included within your import file.  The table also includes any additional rules that must be followed for an import to be successful.

COLUMN HEADINGREQUIREDVALUENOTES
FirstName Yes Single line of text  Mandatory field.
LastName Yes Single line of text  Mandatory field.
EmailAddress Yes Valid email address  Mandatory field.
Title   Single line of text

Your platform will be setup with a predefined list of values for this field. For example; "Mr", "Mrs", "Ms", "Miss", "Sir", "Dame", or "Dr".

The importer supports importing any value into the field, provided it is in the format of a Single line of text. Once imported you will be able to edit the contact and view the imported value, but you will only be able to change it to one of the predefined values set up on your platform (above). 

PreferredName   Single line of text Use PreferredName field only if a contact wishes to be called by a name other than their given first name.
Information   Multiple lines of text Field does not support HTML tags.
NationalStudentNumber   Single line of text  NSN number
ContactCode      
Phone details      
WorkPhone   Single line of text  
HomePhone   Single line of text  
Mobile   Single line of text  
Fax   Single line of text  
Internet      
Website   Valid website address e.g. "www.google.com"
Skype   Single line of text Skype username. 
Address details       
PostalAddressLine1   Single line of text  
PostalAddressLine2   Multiple lines of text

If an address contains more than two lines, use PostalAddressLine1 for the first line and concatenate the other lines into PostalAddressLine2.

Hint: Read Concatenate (merge) two columns of data into a single column within Tips and tricks for importing data.

PostalAddressSuburb   Single line of text  
PostalAddressPostCode   Single line of text  
PostalAddressCity   Single line of text  
PostalAddressState   Single line of text  
PostalAddressCountry   Single line of text  
WorkAddressLine1   Single line of text  
WorkAddressLine2   Multiple lines of text  

If an address contains more than two lines, use WorkAddressLine1. for the first line and concatenate the other lines into  WorkAddressLine2.

Hint: Read Concatenate (merge) two columns of data into a single column within Tips and tricks for importing data. 

WorkAddressSuburb   Single line of text  
WorkAddressPostCode   Single line of text  
WorkAddressCity   Single line of text  
WorkAddressState   Single line of text  
WorkAddressCountry   Single line of text  
Area      
Organisation details      
OrganisationName   Single line of text LearningSource will attempt to match the OrganisationName with an existing organisation.  If a match is found, the contact will be linked to the organisation.  If a match is not foundm, a new organisation will be created and linked to the contact. 
Position   Single line of text  
ManagerText   Single line of text  e.g. "John Smith"
Department   Single line of text  
BusinessUnit   Single line of text  
Personal details      
SpecialDiet   Single line of text e.g. "Vegetarian". If field is left blank then tickbox will default to 'No' 
Disability   Single line of text e.g. "Vision impaired". If field is left blank then tickbox will default to 'No' 
Gender  

Single line of text

Your platform must be set up with a predefined list of values for this field. For example; "Male" or "Female".

The importer supports importing any value into the field provided it is in the format of a Single line of text. Once imported you will be able to edit the contact and view the imported value but will only be able to change it to one of the predefined values set up on your platform. 

Citizenship  

Single line of text

 Column will need to be added to the import file.
DateOfBirth   Date format: d-mmm-yyyy

e.g. "1-Mar-2011".  The importer also supports the following formats: d-mmm-yyyy, d-mmm-yy, d/mm/yyyy, yyyy/mm/d, d mmmm yyyy.

Status   Active or Archived If this column is not included in the import file then all imported contacts will be set as Active by default. Note: This is not referring to active account(s).
AgeGroup     Your platform must be set up with a predefined list of values for this field. For example; "15-20" or "65+".
Ethnicity     Your platform must be set up with a predefined list of values for this field. For example; "NZ European" or "Maori".
Resident   TRUE / FALSE  Enter TRUE if a resident or FALSE if not.
PriorActivity      
HighestLevelofAchievement     Your platform must be set up with a predefined list of values for this field. For example; "NZCE" or "University qualification".
Marketing       
Newsletter   TRUE / FALSE Enter TRUE to subscribe to a newsletter.

NewsletterTopics

   

Important: Your platform must be set up with a predefined list of values for this field. For example; "Sales" or "Marketing".

Where a contact is subscribed to multiple topics, separate the topic values with a comma in the cell, e.g. 

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If your topics are more than one word, you will need to add speechmarks around the values and then spearate each value with a comma, e.g. 

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NewsletterDelivery

    Available options are: "Email", "Post" or "Post and email"

NoBulkEmails

 

TRUE / FALSE

 Enter TRUE if Contact does not wish to receive bulk emails.

NoBulkPost

  TRUE / FALSE  Enter TRUE if Contact does not wish to receive bulk post.

PreferredContactMethod

    Available options are: "Email" or "Phone"

LastCampaignDate

  Date format: d-mmm-yyyy e.g. "1-Mar-2011".  The importer also supports the following formats: d-mmm-yyyy, d-mmm-yy, d/mm/yyyy, yyyy/mm/d, d mmmm yyyy.

ReferredBy

    Your platform must be set up with a predefined list of values for this field. For example; "Word of mouth" or "Colleague"

MembershipExpiry

     

Presenter details

     

PresenterRole

  TRUE / FALSE  Enter TRUE if the Contact will be marked as a Presenter.

PresenterProfile

  Multiple lines of text  

PresenterInterests

  Multiple lines of text  

PresenterQualifications

  Multiple lines of text  

PresenterOnWebsite

  TRUE / FALSE  

PresenterContactDetailsOnWebsite

  TRUE / FALSE  

PresenterContactDetailsInCommunications

  TRUE / FALSE  

Fields currently not supported: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Business region, Business area, Business location, Branch, Employment status, Cost centre.

Note that all fields have a maximum number of characters that they will accept. Typically this is either 63 or 127 characters.
If an import fails with an 'Inner Exception' error, look for a field in your import file that exceeds this character limit then edit it down.

Custom field settings

Each of the fields listed above must be activated on your platform before they are visible when editing a contact.  Contact LearningSource Support to activate the fields.  Read more information about custom fields

 

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